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Virginia Uranium opens downtown Chatham office / July 15, 2013
Danville Register & Bee
Used with permission

CHATHAM — Virginia Uranium held a ribbon-cutting Friday for its new office on Main Street in Chatham, across the street from the Pittsylvania County Courthouse.

Walter Coles, Virginia Uranium’s president and chief executive officer, said the new office will be a center for educational opportunities, manned by scientists, technical staff and public relations employees. Essentially, it will be the headquarters for the company’s public relations efforts.

“We hope to use it to tell our story,” he said.

Virginia Uranium wants to mine a 119-million-pound uranium ore deposit six miles from Chatham. The new office will be used for briefings and for teaching about uranium mining and milling activities through displays, computers and video. Members of the community are encouraged to come talk to Virginia Uranium’s employees and learn more about the Coles Hill project.

“We’ve always thought it was something we wanted to do,” Coles said.

They will also use the space to meet with political leaders, legislators and candidates for public office, among others. Coles said Virginia Uranium has extended opportunities to county supervisors, state legislators, researchers and others to learn more about their plans.

“Yet they refused to hear our side of the story,” Coles said. “We’re going to continue to challenge them.”

He is hoping the company’s new presence on Main Street will make them impossible to ignore.

“They’ll see our signs, and we’ll invite them in,” he said.

Virginia Uranium will retain its office on Woodlawn Heights, where its administrative and research activities will remain.

Supervisors Coy Harville and Brenda Bowman were in attendance. Bowman thanked Virginia Uranium for revitalizing the former jewelry store, and praised the company for contributing more than $40,000 in annual taxes to the town and county.

“No matter which side of the issue you’re on, this gives you a chance to stop by and get educated,” she said. “This proves they [Virginia Uranium] are open and transparent.”

Lillian Gillespie, former mayor of Hurt and chair of the pro-mining group People for Economic Prosperity, said the group has recently doubled in size to 4,000 members. She said Virginia Uranium’s plans can help pull up the local economy.

“I feel this is one of the best ways to get the jobs,” she said. “This company is ready and willing to move forward.”

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